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As technology increases in our everyday life, it has also become a part of delivering public health programs. In recent years, online prenatal education programs have been gaining interest among Ontario public health units. However, there has been little research to suggest whether the method of presentation (i.e., online, in-person) has an impact on knowledge gain. The purpose of this study was to examine if there is a difference in knowledge gained by pregnant women participating in in-person public health prenatal education programs compared to online programs. The Healthy Pregnancies project was undertaken as part of PHO’s Locally Driven Collaborative Projects (LDCP) program.
A quasi-experimental design was used to recruit pregnant women registering for prenatal education programs at Ontario public health units. Participants were invited to complete a pre- and post-survey, which included knowledge-based questions related to healthy pregnancies, healthy lifestyles, and breastfeeding. The change in knowledge from the pre-survey to the post-survey was calculated and compared between online and in-person programs. Linear regression was used to determine if there was a difference in knowledge gains between in-person and online programs.
The results of this study will assist public health units in strengthening an underdeveloped and highly relevant evidence base on effectiveness of public health prenatal education programs in Ontario.
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Presenters: Dr. Gillian Alton & Natalie Bourdages
Gillian is an epidemiologist at Oxford County Public Health and Special Graduate Faculty with the Population Medicine Department at the University of Guelph. She completed her master of science and doctorate (PhD) in epidemiology from the University of Guelph. Gillian was the project lead for the LDCP Healthy Pregnancies project.
Natalie has worked as a health promotion specialist at Toronto Public Health for the past four years. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing at Ryerson University, and completed a master of nursing degree from the University of Toronto. In her current position, Natalie is involved in program planning and evaluation, research activities, policy and procedure development, and knowledge exchange activities for various program areas related to healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes. Previously, as a public health nurse for 14 years, she has worked with high-risk families, vulnerable pregnant women, Canada Prenatal Nutrition Programs, and early parenting programs.
Public Health Ontario Grand Rounds are approved for continuing medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).
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